BLUF: I have been asked to accept a change in assignment that removes a significant portion of my current managerial responsibility. If I accept the change in position, should I continue O3s?

Background & details:  I have been asked to fill a newly created quality assurance position being created within the department I currently "co-manage."  A few years ago the department was spit into 2 groups, one reporting directly to me and the other to a department member promoted into a supervisory role, each of us reports to a VP. We are each responsible for management of our directs, their work, development and reviews.  I am responsible for a few activities that affect both sets of directs; staff meetings and continuing education.

In September, I started O3s with my directs and the co-manager started weekly meetings with his directs.  I share the MT method and podcasts with the co-manager but I am not sure if he uses it.  I have recently started using the 4-step feedback model (initially only positive feedback).  I have not yet rolled out any more of the MT trinity.  The results have been positive; I have better relationships with my directs and the team appreciates feedback.  One direct who is a good performer but very reserved in O3s has already expressed interest in adjusting feedback.

The new QA position has no directs in the traditional sense.  The person who fills the role will be responsible for verification that quality standards are met for the whole department; verification that deliverables meet applicable technical standards, client standards and internal standards.  This will be carved out of the manager's responsibility.  The QA position also includes coaching employees in areas where it is evident additional skills are needed to meet QA standards and providing technical guidance when requested.  The QA position does not include assigning work to the department members, nor does it include preparation of reviews, salary recommendations, or hiring decisions.  These last items will remain with the manager.

If I accept the QA position, would it be appropriate to continue O3s?  Since coaching is part of the role, I could make the case for having O3s with the entire department. But since the position has no directs, I could also make the case that O3s should be left to the manager.  This 2nd option does not sit well with me, I would feel as though I would be abandoning my directs just when the process was starting to show results.

Thank you in advance for any guidance and insight that can be provided.

jrosenau's picture

I think that if you choose to take the QA position, since you will no longer be their manager, you need to discontinue the O3s.   You don't want to be seen as still trying to hold on to your old positon.  When the new manager is assigned, you can work with that manager to turn over the trinity and let s/he know how well it worked with your directs.  I would tend to open the door for your current directs to see if they are interested in a coaching/mentor relationship.  You could then maintain an appropriate professional relationship with them.


TGilbertPE's picture


BLUF: I am now in the QA position reporting to a manger who was a peer.  O3s have been discontinued.

When the executive asked if I would have interest in the QA roll; it wasn't a intended to be question.  The executive made this very clear when I sought to gain better insight into the QA roll and its responsibilities. 

The new manger, who had also started O3s last fall, made the decision to stop all O3s when the reorganization was announced.  The MT feedback model was also dropped.

Mark is exactly right when he advises to “murder the unchosen alternative.”  Now, my goal is to work with former directs who are now peers to improve the quality of our services.  I'm thinking will require even stronger relationships with the team since role power is not an option.

My brief experience with O3s left me more convinced than ever the MT methods are powerful tools and can be very beneficial even if one is not a manager.  I look for ways to apply the advice and guidance within the roll I have.  I continue to listen  and have purchased a Career Tools Individual License.

I would gladly welcome any advice or guidance you can offer.

Thank you for using your valuable time to read this post.



altadel's picture
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You discontinue, as you don't manage them. You could listen to the peer O3 podcasts, but I'm not clear on the size of the group or how directly applicable that info is to your situation. It certainly sounds like it's all in the relationship power now!


Scott Delinger

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TGilbertPE's picture

My apologies for being less than clear.  O3s were discontinued when the change was announced. (Looking back, my comments in this post did give the impression I was trying to hold onto the past).

If it helps to place comments or suggestions in a better context, it a s group of 17 engineers and technical designers.

Thank you for your comment.